Resilience During Tough Times

Resilience During Tough Times

25th November 2020

As the world comes to terms with COVID-19, there have been a few buzzwords that have done the rounds. Words like lockdown, furlough and resilience and it is the latter which I would like to focus on here.

There is much debate as to whether resilience is something you are born with or can develop or grow as you mature, and your experiences unfold. I have been using a lot of my time over COVID to write a book on resilience and my thoughts and experiences of it. Companies, organisations and individuals have always had some form of Business Continuity Plan or at least a ‘Plan B’ but few will have foreseen the impact on 2020 that a pandemic can have.

In my former life I was an SAS commander and we always had to have a Plan B. For any situation we would have a Deliberate Action and an Immediate Action, or in layman’s terms, our plan at a time, place of our choosing and a ‘what do we do if they still killing hostages right now!?’ We had to have considered that as lives depended on it and not just considered it but trained for it, relentlessly.

Of course, training was a big part of military life but not just training for trainings sake but making it as close to the real thing as possible and not being afraid to fail. Our motto is Who Dares Wins! but we fail all the time, the only thing is it’s in training and we learn fast from it. Quite often we would train so much that we were more comfortable in the enemies’ environment (desert, jungle, ship, camp) than the enemies that lived in it.

Business Continuity is the process of planning a strategy to ensure your longevity should you find yourself dealing with a difficult event and the more versed you are with tackling difficult events the higher your chances of survival.

My fellow Edinburgh University alumni Charles Darwin famously stated that it wasn’t the strongest that survived but the one ‘that is most adaptable to change’ and indeed those that are the most agile, resilient and able to adapt will be the one’s blossoming once we come through the worst of COVID-19.

Mental Health will be one of the biggest casualties of war as it is in any battle. My top tips to help endure and thrive and maximise your potential is to create a list of aims or goals.

These can be short term, medium and long or daily, weekly and monthly and then simply tick them off as you go. Most of us as human beings need drive and purpose and a sense of value and this helps us achieve that. The second thing would be to try and keep a healthy balance of exercise, diet, sleep and social. These can complement your goals and chances are that if you are getting this part right then you’re a long way down the road to mentally healthy life.

The final thing would be to remember the buddy-buddy system, in the military having a battle buddy helps when the chips are down and chances are when you are struggling, like we all do occasionally, then they will be there to pick us up and vice versa. Who Cares Wins!

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Colin Maclachlan